The quarterfinals are set for the U-20 World Cup, with one significant upset dotting Thursday morning’s Round of 16 landscape.
Uzbekistan stung previously unbeaten Austria with a 2-0 win in Whangarei. The Austrians had a 1W-2D mark in a fairly tough Group B, while Uzbekistan barely escaped Group F despite losing to Honduras and Germany.
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Meanwhile, a trio of favorites won their matches, knocking the hosts out of the running for the World Cup.
Uzbekistan 2-0 Austria
The 2013 quarterfinalists will do at least one round better under coach Ravshan Khaydarov, thanks to a pair of goals bookending halftime by 18-year-old Dostonbek Khamdamov, who plies his trade domestically. Austria has six rostered players from the German Bundesliga and a Manchester City youngster, but that wasn’t enough to take down the White Wolves. They’ll face Senegal on Sunday, so the dream ride is far from over.
Germany 1-0 Nigeria
Levin Oztunali’s 19th minute goal stood up, as the Bayer Leverusken midfielder’s early strike held up. Nigeria coach Manu Garba simply said, “Our players lost concentration at the crucial moment.” And so it often goes against German sides. Germany gets Mali on Sunday.
Portugal 2-1 New Zealand
Stuart Holthusen’s 64th minute equalizer looked to be a springboard to host heroics, but neither the Akron Zips’ midfielder nor his teammates could find a winner before Gelson Martins (Sporting B) netted in the 87th minute. Raphael Guzzo (Benfica B) also scored for Portugal, who moves on to face Brazil.
Brazil 0-0 (PKs, 5-4) Uruguay
Rodrigo Amaral was the only player to miss in penalties, as Brazil survived a game challenge from its South American rivals.